Thursday, September 23, 2010

Day of prayer for peace brings hope for a future beyond violence.

More than 90 congregations and community organizations in 20 states and three countries took part in the International Day of Prayer for Peace as partners with On Earth Peace. These communities joined tens of thousands of people on five continents who have been participating in events in the week surrounding Tuesday, Sept. 21--the sixth observance of the World Council of Churches’ International Day of Prayer for Peace, which joins the United Nations' 25-year commitment to an International Day of Peace.

On Earth Peace's more than 90 partner groups planned public vigils, interfaith worship services, prayer drop-in times, childrens' mural making, installation of peace poles, and many other events.

As part of the activities, Ekklesiyar Yan'uwa a Nigeria (EYN--the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) launched an effort in Jos, Nigeria, to build bridges among Christians and Muslims as they shared their mutual concerns for peace following sectarian violence. This week's prayer services in Jos included both Muslims and Christians praying for peace in the wake of church burnings, looting, and killings.

In Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, Breakthru Church International sent 30 people door-to-door wearing bright orange t-shirts to ask about obstacles to peace and to point to signs of hope in preparation for a prayer service and a later public meeting to build hope and investment in their community.

Several prayer services in the United States brought people of different faiths together to pray, an action that seems prophetic in the face of rising anti-Muslim sentiment in this country.

"Observing the International Day of Prayer for Peace is more than a day. It is a process," said Matt Guynn of On Earth Peace. "Wherever there is hard-heartedness, violence, or poverty, there is a crooked path that God can make smooth. That doesn't happen overnight or in a year, but over time, in each heart, in each village, town, and city, in each society, as we work to build a culture of positive peace and active nonviolence.

"In local group after local group, we see that each year, there is a growing sense of possibility for God’s peace. The prayers offered up each Sept. 21 are an opportunity for community members to ask God for help, for inspiration, for guidance for overcoming evil with good."

-- On Earth Peace provided this release. For more information contact Matt Guynn, Program Director and Coordinator of Peace Witness, at or 503-775-1636.

Source: 9/23/2010 Newsline

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